Matthew 17:27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them,

Spoken to: 

Peter

Context: 

Jesus to Peter regarding paying taxes.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Because, however, we shouldn't want to trip them up, crossing into a sea, toss a hook.  And that one rising up first remove and opening that mouth of it you will find a money piece that, getting, give to them for me and you.

KJV : 

Matthew 17:27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse is loaded with words Jesus uses to make points about knowledge and understanding. These are mostly lost in translation. This symbolism does seem to be intentional even though these ideas don't seem to have anything to do with the topic, which is purely functional, even if it is a miracle. However, think about the miracle here: it is one of having knowledge that no one could have.

As we commonly see, Jesus uses a lot of participles, verbal adjectives, which are changed here to active verbs.

NIV : 

Matthew 17:27 But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.

Wordplay: 

Many of the words here refer to knowledge and learning. 

My Takeaway: 

God provides knowledge that we cannot get without him at all.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἵνα  (adv/conj) "Lest" is from hina, (with me below) which means "in that place", "there", "where", "when", "that", "in order that", "when," and "because."

δὲ (conj) "But" is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

μὴ (partic) "Lest" is from me (with hina above) which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

σκανδαλίσωμεν [20 verses](verb 1st pl aor subj act) "Offend" is skandalizo, which means "to cause to stumble", "to give offense," and "to scandalize."

αὐτούς, (adj pl masc acc) "Them" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

πορευθεὶς [54 verses](part sg aor pass masc nom) "Go thou") is poreuomai (poreuo) which means "make to go", "carry", "convey", "bring", "go", "march," and "proceed." It is almost always translated as "go" in the NT. Jesus almost always used it to mean "depart." In the passive, it has more the sense of "crossing over" and "marching."

εἰς (prep) "To" is from eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

θάλασσαν [11 verses](noun sg fem acc) "Sea" is thalassa, which means also means "sea", "channel", "well of saltwater," or "sea water."

βάλε [54 verses](verb 2nd sg aor imperat act) "Cast" is from ballo, which means "to throw", "to let fall," "to cast," "to put", "to pour", "to place money on deposit", "push forward or in front [of animals]", "to shed", "to place", "to pay,"to throw [of dice,]" "to be lucky", "to fall", "to lay as foundation", "to begin to form", "to dash oneself with water," and "to bathe."

ἄγκιστρον [1  verse](noun sg neut acc) "Hook" is from agkistron, which means "fish-hook", "hook of a spindle," and "surgical instrument."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

τὸν (article sg masc acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). -

ἀναβάντα [14 verses](part sg aor act masc acc) "Cometh up" is anabaino, which means "go up", "mount", "ascend," [of ships] "go onboard", "rise to speak", "ascend to higher knowledge," [of plants] "shoot up," [of events] "result from," [of a male] "mount," and [of hearts] "enter."

πρῶτον (adj sg masc acc) "That first" is proton, which means (of place) "before,""in front," (in time) "former", "earlier," (of rank) "superior", "foremost," and (philosophically) "first in order of existence,".

ἰχθὺν [3 verses](noun sg masc acc) "Fish" is ichthys, which means "fish" and, in the plural, "fish market."

ἆρον [55 verses](verb 2nd sg aor imperat act) "Take up" is airo, which means "to lift up", "to raise", "to raise up", "to exalt", "to lift and take away," and "to remove."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

ἀνοίξας [9 verses](part sg aor act masc nom) "When thou has opened up" is anoigo, which means "to open", "to throw open," and "to disclose."

τὸ (article sg neut acc)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). -

στόμα [12 verses ](noun sg neut acc) "Mouth" is stoma, which means "mouth", "the organ of speech", "speech", "utterance," "any outlet or entrance," and "the foremost part" of something. For example, the blade or point of a weapon is a stoma.

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "His" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

εὑρήσεις [43 verses](verb 2nd sg fut ind act) "Thou shalt find" is heurisko, which means "to find", "to find out", "to discover", "to devise", "to invent", "to get," and "to gain."

στατῆρα: [1 verse] (noun sg masc acc) "A piece of money" is stater, which means "standard coin", "one who owes money," and "debtor."

ἐκεῖνον [107 verses](adj sg masc acc) "That" is ekeinos (kakeinos), which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner." "

λαβὼν [54 verse](part sg aor act masc nom) "Take" is lambano means to "take", "take hold of", "grasp", "seize", "catch", "overtake", "find out", "detect", "take as", "take [food or drugs]", "understand", "take in hand", "undertake", "take in", "hold", "get", "receive [things]", "receive hospitably", "receive in marriage", "receive as produce", "profit", "admit", "initiate", "take hold of", "lay hold on", "seize and keep hold of", "obtain possession of", "lay hands upon", "find fault with", "censure," "to apprehend with the senses", "to take hold of," and "to seize." It is also specifically used to mean "seized with emotion."

δὸς [147 verses](verb 2nd sg aor imperat act) "Give" is didomi, which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe."

αὐτοῖς (adj pl masc dat) "Unto them" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

ἀντὶ [9 verses](prep)"For" is anti, which means "opposite", "over against", "instead", "in place of", "at the price of", "in return for", "for the sake of", "against", "in return", "equal to", "corresponding to," and "mutually."

ἐμοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "Me" is from emou, which means "me", and "mine".

καὶ (conj/adv)" And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

σοῦ (adj sg neut gen) "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

KJV Analysis: 

Notwithstanding,  - (CW) "Notwithstanding" is from the conjunction that is normally translated as "but." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

lest  - (CW) The Greek word translated as "lest" is from two words normally translated as "in order that" and "not." The first is a word that means "there", "where," and "in order that." The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article.

we -- This is from the first-person, plural form of the verb.

should -- This helping verb "should" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

offend  - -- "Offend" is a verb that means "to cause to stumble" or "to trip up." From there it is assumed by its translators to mean "to give offense" and "to scandalize." Our word "scandalize" come directly from the Greek. However, this interpretation of the word only comes from the translators of the Gospels. This is a Koine word that is found originally only in the New Testament, but based on a noun found only in the Greek Old Testament meaning "snare," or "stumbling block." The noun is changed to a verb by adding an ending very much like we add "ize" to a noun in order to make it a verb.  So, literally, it would mean to "stumblize." In English, we would simply say, "trips up" capturing the same idea exactly. 

them, -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  

go -- (CW, WF) The Greek verb translated as "go" is the most common verb translated as "go" in the NT. This word means "to lead over", "depart," and "to carry over." This word, however, uniquely means both "to pursue a course" and "to depart from life." It is usually translated as "depart." This word, however, uniquely means both "to pursue a course" and "to depart from life." However, this word is not a verbal command as translated. It is not even an active verb. It is in the form of a verbal adjective in the passive, "being departed."

thou  - -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "thou" in the Greek source.

to -- The word translated as "to" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "it" in the Greek source. - When a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

sea, - -  The "sea" is from the Greek word for "sea" and "sea water." Water is Christ's symbol for the temporary, physical reality.

and -- - (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "and" in the Greek source.

cast  - The word translated as "cast" has a number of meanings revolving around "throw" as we do in English with both "throw" and "toss." In dice, it means "to throw" the dice, but with the sense of being lucky.

an -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

hook,  - The word for "hook" here is uncommon, at least for Christ. This is the only time it is used. It specifically means a "fishhook" so it suits the context. This word has no other meaning.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

take up -- "take up" is one of Christ's favorite "multiple meaning" words. It is a verb that means "to raise up", "elevate", "to bear", "to carry off", "to take and apply to any use," and "to cause to cease." This is the same words used to mean being raised from the dead or lifted up on the cross.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

fish  - "Fish," is a Greek word that means "fish."  It also later became a metaphor for Christ, but only because of its spelling was a code for Christ's name.

that  - -- The word translated as "that" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

first -- The word translated as "first" takes a lot of different types of "first" meanings from its context.

cometh  - (WW) "Cometh " is from a verb which means "go up", "shoot up," and "ascend." It is in the form of an adjective, modifying "fish." It is also a word that means "ascending to higher knowledge." 

up; -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "up along."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

when thou -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "when thou" in the Greek source. There is no "when" here and the following verb isn't in a form that has a subject.

hast  - -- (WT) This helping verb "hast" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

opened  - (WF) The one word translated as for "when thou has opened" means "to disclose" or "to lay open." The form of the verb is another adjectival phrase, "opening up." Again, this word is used for revealing truths.

his -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

mouth, -- The Greek word translated as "mouth" is  means "mouth" and therefore, "speech" or "utterance."

thou -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

shalt -- This helping verb "shalt" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

find  - The term used for "thou shalt find" is the source of our word, "heuristic," meaning enabling a person to find out something for themselves. It means "find out" and "discover." It is usually used by Jesus to refer to discovering knowledge.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

piece of money:   - "A piece of money" is from a Greek word that means a "standard coin", "one who owes money," and "debtor."

that  - The word translated as "that" is an adjective that highlights its noun as in a specific place.

take,  - (WF) -- The word translated as "take" primarily means "take." However, it means "receive" in the same sense that we use "get" to mean "receive" and has many different uses as we use "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing."

and   - -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "thou" in the Greek source. There is no "and" here because there is only one verb, the following one.

give " - Give" is the standard word for "give" and "grant." It is in the form of a command.

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

them -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  

for  - -- The word translated as "for" has many meanings that fit this context: "in place of", "at the price of", "in return for," and "for the sake of." However, in English, this Greek word, anti, is from its primary meaning "opposite."

me --  "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek in the possessive form, so "my" or "of me". This form is required by the preposition.

and - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

thee. -- The word translated as "thee" is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form. This form is required by the preposition.

KJV Translation Issues: 

14
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "notwithstanding" is not commonly  translated as "notwithstanding."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "lest" is not commonly  translated as "lest."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "go" is not the common word usually translated as "go."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "go" is not an active verb but a participle, "crossing."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "thou" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "cometh" should be "rising."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "when thou" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "hast" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "opened" is not an active verb but a participle, "opening."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "mouth" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "take" is not an active verb but a participle, "taking."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.

NIV Analysis: 

But  -- "But" is from the conjunction that is normally translated as "but." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

so that -- The word translated as "that" is an adverb "in that place", "there", "where", "when", or as a conjunction that starts a subordinate clause  "that," "in order that" or "because."

we -- This is from the first-person, plural form of the verb.

may -- This helping verb "should" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

not  - The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article.

cause offense,-- "Cause offense" is a verb that means "to cause to stumble" or "to trip up." From there it is assumed by its translators to mean "to give offense" and "to scandalize." Our word "scandalize" come directly from the Greek. However, this interpretation of the word only comes from the translators of the Gospels. This is a Koine word that is found originally only in the New Testament, but based on a noun found only in the Greek Old Testament meaning "snare," or "stumbling block." The noun is changed to a verb by adding an ending very much like we add "ize" to a noun in order to make it a verb.  So, literally, it would mean to "stumblize." In English, we would simply say, "trips up" capturing the same idea exactly.

them, -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  

go -- (CW, WF) The Greek verb translated as "go" is the most common verb translated as "go" in the NT. This word means "to lead over", "depart," and "to carry over." This word, however, uniquely means both "to pursue a course" and "to depart from life." It is usually translated as "depart." This word, however, uniquely means both "to pursue a course" and "to depart from life." However, this word is not a verbal command as translated. It is not even an active verb. It is in the form of a verbal adjective in the passive, "being departed."

to -- The word translated as "to" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

the -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "it" in the Greek source. - When a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

lake , - -  The "lake" is from the Greek word for "sea" and "sea water." Water is Christ's symbol for the temporary, physical reality.

and - (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "and" in the Greek source.

throw - The word translated as "throw " has a number of meanings revolving around "throw" as we do in English with both "throw" and "toss." In dice, it means "to throw" the dice, but with the sense of being lucky.

out -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "out" in the Greek source. There is a version of this verb  with a prefix that means "out" but it is not used here.

your -- -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "you" in the Greek source.

line,  -  (WW) The word for "line" here is uncommon, at least for Christ. This is the only time it is used. It specifically means a "fishhook" so it suits the context. This word has no other meaning.

missing "and"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

Take -- "Take " is one of Christ's favorite "multiple meaning" words. It is a verb that means "to raise up", "elevate", "to bear", "to carry off", "to take and apply to any use," and "to cause to cease." This is the same words used to mean being raised from the dead or lifted up on the cross.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

first -- The word translated as "first" takes a lot of different types of "first" meanings from its context.

fish  - "Fish," is a Greek word that means "fish."  It also later became a metaphor for Christ, but only because of its spelling was a code for Christ's name.

you - -- (WW) The word translated as "yiu" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

catch- (WW) "Cometh " is from a verb which means "go up", "shoot up," and "ascend." It is in the form of an adjective, modifying "fish." It is also a word that means "ascending to higher knowledge." 

missing "and"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

open  - (WF) The one word translated as for "when thou has opened" means "to disclose" or "to lay open." The form of the verb is another adjectival phrase, "opening up." Again, this word is used for revealing truths. It is not a command or an active verb.

its -- The word translated as "its" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

mouth, -- The Greek word translated as "mouth" is  means "mouth" and therefore, "speech" or "utterance."

and - (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "and" in the Greek source.

you -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

will -- This helping verb "shalt" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

find  - The term used for "thou shalt find" is the source of our word, "heuristic," meaning enabling a person to find out something for themselves. It means "find out" and "discover." It is usually used by Jesus to refer to discovering knowledge.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

four-drachma coin:   - "Four-drachma coin" is from a Greek word that means a "standard coin", "one who owes money," and "debtor."

 Take ,  - (WF) -- The word translated as "take" primarily means "take." However, it means "receive" in the same sense that we use "get" to mean "receive" and has many different uses as we use "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing."

it - (CW) The word translated as "it" is an adjective that highlights its noun as in a specific place.

and   - -- (IW)  There is no "and" here because there is only one verb, the following one.

give " - Give" is the standard word for "give" and "grant." It is in the form of a command.

it -- This English objective pronoun is added and not in the Greek source.   In Greek, pronoun objects are not repeated after each verb because they are implied by their first occurrence.

to -- This word "to" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

them -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  

for  - -- The word translated as "for" has many meanings that fit this context: "in place of", "at the price of", "in return for," and "for the sake of." However, in English, this Greek word, anti, is from its primary meaning "opposite."

my --  "My" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek in the possessive form, so "my" or "of me". This form is required by the preposition.

tax --  (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "tax" in the Greek source.

and - The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

thine. -- The word translated as "thine" is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form. This form is required by the preposition.

NIV Translation Issues: 

18
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "go" is not the common word usually translated as "go."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "go" is not an active verb but a participle, "crossing."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "out" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "your" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "line" should be "hook."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "you" should be "the one."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "catch" should be "rising."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "open" is not an active verb or a command but a participle, "opening."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "mouth" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "take" is not an active verb but a participle, "taking."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "it" is not the common word usually translated as "it."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "tax" doesn't exist in the source.

Front Page Date: 

Mar 4 2021